Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is author Annie Sullivan. Sullivan’s work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. She is a writer of young adult who resides in Indianapolis, Indiana. Let’s learn more about her new release, her take on the world building and writing tips.
The inspiration behind, Touch the Gold, is King Midas’ daughter, why was it the basis for your story?
I’ve always loved fairytales, and I really wanted to explore what happened to King Midas’s daughter after he turns her to gold as child. In the original myth, she’s just a plot device used to make sure her father learns his lesson, so I wanted to see what really might have happened to her after being turned to gold as a child because that has to leave some lasting side effects mentally and physically.
Have you always loved retellings?
Oh yes! Since I loved fairytales so much growing up, I’ve always been eager to read more. For me, it’s way to look at the characters differently or explore their world in a new way. It’s a chance to spend more time with well-loved characters.
Tell us about Princess Kora.
Princess Kora is the cursed daughter of King Midas. She was turned to gold by her father when she was seven years old. When she was turned back into a human, she had some leftover side effects from being turned to gold, like golden skin and the ability to sense the locations of the other objects her father turned to gold. She also has deadly gold powers that are getting harder and harder to hide.
Retellings, fantasies and paranormal stories are known for world building, what two tips would you give writers about worldbuilding?
My first tip would be to really examine your magic system if there’s magic in the book. Make sure it’s consistent and that the rules of who has it and how can be used are consistent. My second tip would be to make sure you’re including small details that really bring the world to life. For example, if they’re in a marketplace, what’s being sold? What do they keep in their houses? What slang do they use? These small details will help bring the world to life.
You are represented by a literary agent, what steps did you take to secure your agent?
Yes! I love my agent and couldn’t have done this without her. I queried agents via email and followed their submission guidelines. And when my first book didn’t get me an agent, I kept writing and came up with a new story that did get me an agent.
When writing, do you have a writing process? Can you share two writing tips that have helped you?
I try to write a minimum of 500 words a day. Some days I can write over 3,000 words, but some days I just write 500. That gives me a goal to work toward. So I guess my first tip is to have a goal—whether that’s a word count or writing for a specific amount of time each day. My second tip is to treat it like a job. If you’re constantly giving up your writing time, you will never get your story written and revised. If you want it to be your career, you have to treat it like it is.
What challenges have you had with the writing and publishing industry?
Oh man! The publishing industry is such a hard industry to break into. It took me eight years from when I started writing A Touch of Gold to when it released in the world as a book. A lot of that time was spent getting rejected by agents, which was really hard. You just have to push through the rejection and not let it stop you from writing your next book, and your next one, and your next one.
What are five things your readers don’t know about you?
Hmm…okay, 5 things they may not know about me…
-I find four leaf clovers all the time! It’s this crazy skill I have!
-I have traveled to every continent (yes, including Antarctica!)
-I’ve met Rosa Parks.
-I have a dog named Mittens. (My younger brother named her.)
-Belle is my favorite Disney princess because she loves to read and isn’t afraid to go save her family.
What new projects are you working on?
Hopefully A Touch of Gold will have a sequel, so I’m working on that at the moment. I also have another YA fantasy novel that’s sort of a retelling that I’m working. I’m super excited about this book because I think readers will love it. So stay tuned!
How can readers find you?
I love connecting with readers, so please do reach out!
- Website: https://anniesullivanauthor.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnieSullivan/
- Twitter: @annsulliva
- Instagram: @annsulliva
- Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36575823-a-touch-of-gold
About The Book
Gold is wealth. Wealth is power. Power is a curse.
King Midas once had the ability to turn all he touched into gold. But after his gift—or curse—almost killed his daughter, Midas relinquished The Touch forever. Ten years later, Princess Kora still bears the consequences of her father’s wish: her skin shines golden, rumors follow her everywhere she goes, and she harbors secret powers that are getting harder to hide.
Kora spends her days locked in the palace, concealed behind gloves and veils, trying to ignore the stares and gossip of courtiers. It isn’t until a charming young duke arrives that Kora realizes there may be someone out there who doesn’t fear her or her curse. But their courtship is disrupted when a thief steals precious items from the kingdom, leaving the treasury depleted and King Midas vulnerable. Thanks to her unique ability to sense gold, Kora is the only one who can track the thief down. As she sails off on her quest, Kora learns that not everything is what it seems—not thieves, not pirates, and not even curses. She quickly discovers that gold—and the power it brings—is more dangerous than she’d ever believed.
Midas learned his lesson at a price. What will Kora’s journey cost?
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